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Over the past six years, UnidosUS has built a framework for the Financial Empowerment Network—an initiative that leverages the breadth and diversity of the UnidosUS Affiliate Network and the infrastructure that UnidosUS has built to make available the support of experienced, bilingual financial coaches in communities around the country. Support from JPMC will be used to support our efforts to build upon and continue work in this area. 
This initiative has integrated financial education into health centers, school-based programming, and other community services offered by UnidosUS Affiliates to reach people with financial information in a new way, and in a new moment in their lives—a time when they may need but might not be looking for financial information. This model creates a pipeline of clients who are motivated to engage in financial coaching and refers them to the most effective financial coaches that the UnidosUS Affiliate Network has to offer. In doing so, it leverages the UnidosUS Counseling Connection (UCC) to smoothly refer a client from one Affiliate to another, while ensuring that the client can consistently speak to someone in the language he/she prefers and talking to someone who understands the context of his/her financial life. 
Unique among national projects, this initiative has strong potential for scale and impact and can be customized to emphasize various dimensions based on community need and partner interest.  Among the features that make this initiative unique are: 
  • Provides access to financial coaching in communities where the service is limited, if available at all
  • Provides consumers access to phone/virtual counseling to match the busy lifestyles of working families and to align with changing demands among consumers
  • Integrates financial education into organizations that are trusted members of their communities, and helps reach people who likely would not independently pursue a financial education program, engage with financial education programs, but who would benefit from them nonetheless 
  • Access to immediate/reliable referral via our call center
  • Access to financial products that are not known or that meet varying client needs

In 2021, UnidosUS engaged two external partners to conduct independent evaluations on the Financial Empowerment Network. You can read the results completed by the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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